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Devarajan's article on Indian cricket!

Source: Business Line

I am not sure how it would be taken after India won the third test handsomely. But my views remains the same.

........Again, in a few years, there will not be any schools in Mumbai, only coaching classes. When they grow up, school kids will having nothing to recall. Like in another two months after IPL, cricket will not be and a future generation will not realise that such a game existed in the world with Indian cricket teams losing more matches than winning despite “legends” (going by cricket commentators) like Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly and Kumble. They are so “legendary” they protest when they see grass on the cricket pitch at Kanpur, like my grand-daughter Shreya when denied a packet of Kurkure or Lays.

Blessed be the public that our “legends” do not insist on the entire Kanput cricket ground being shaved of grass. Then Kumble and Harbhajan could spin the ball from one end of the ground to the other. Going by our voluble and tiring cricket commentators like Gavaskar, Shastri and Bhogle, our “legendary” batsmen like Tendulkar and Dravid have played fast bowling in foreign pitches with canny footwork; they forget to add they have won only a few matches against the best opposition.

If that be so, why order Daljit Singh to do a barber’s job in Kanpur. This has happened many times in the past (remember the Nagpur incident when captain Ganguly flew back to Kolkata after seeing green when Australians chuckled) and yet our “legends” have to be given Cadbury 5 Stars to keep their courage going. There is the argument that every country fiddles with pitches. Yes they do and it does not make our action right. In the terribly unfair lands of Australia and South Africa there are fast and spin pitches; for instance, fast Perth (remember, we won a Test match) and spinning Sydney in Australia. We lose a test match to South Africa at Motera because our players were swinging to the crores thrown at them by IPL and cared not for being play-fit.

Recently, over TV the “legend” Sunil Gavaskar asked Indian spectators, “what more should a Tendulkar (yet, another legend) do.” For this writer he should stop playing cricket. Ahead of the South Africa series, John Gloster said Tendulkar had a problem with his groin and hip. Out came the “legend” saying: I am fit. At Chennai, he spent most of the time in the dressing room after scoring his patented duck and then the public was told he was hurt in the groin. And the same Tendulkar wants the juniors to respect seniors in the team. Hey, we had heard of such orders during the 1975 Emergency. Is the “legend” Sachin Tendulkar made of crystal glass with none having any right to pepper him including his friend Sanjay Manjrekar. Spinners also like turn and bounce (ask Warne) and then our critics have been telling us recently that we have Ishant Sharma and a packet of pacers as good as any in the world. Spinners will no more be critical; pace is going to count, the cricket correspondents said. Then, why use razors and scissors in Kanpur? Despite the noise over the India-Australia series in Australia, the record books will say India lost the series 2-1. That’s the bare bone fact.

We have never won a series in Australia and we have “legends” in our team. Wisden’s hundred best centuries did not give any place to Tendulkar. Mukul Kesavan in his book Men in White writes: Wisden’s innings were assessed by weighted criteria and ladder ranked; judged by those yardsticks, Tendulkar’s innings didn’t measure up. Vishwanath was there, Gavaskar was there, VVS Laxman was right up there – the fourth best innings of all time – Lara was severally there, but not Tendulkar.” And Kesavan adds: So a celebration of Indian batsmanship that concentrates on winning performances would exclude most of our cricket history, most of our batsmen and most of our memories. That can’t be right. And the reason it doesn’t seem right is related to the nature of cricket, not just our local predicament as supporters of a team that loses more often than it wins.” Thank God, India is losing all the time.


Vijayakrishna said...

Devarajan is wrong. He should be talking about BCCI's lack of spine to produce bouncy and pacy wickets in India. There is no point in pointing his fingers to these greats. They can only do so much. We never had the bowling attack to win matches abroad.

The problem with Indian cricket is much deeper than it appears. But anyway, it's easy to blame the cricket players because they are paid a lot, they attain this stardom and basically attract too much attention.

Someone must tell Devarajan that his article lacked depth where he is content with finding a popular culprit in players instead of the true problems such as the role of the establishments, their unnecessary autonomy, the quality of pitches, the academies that we don't have etc.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with what Vijay said.Since Mr. Venkat suffers from sachinosuccesophobia , he feels it worth publishing anything and anybody who feels so.

Minority appeasing may work in Indian politics but not against Tendulkar

Sridhar santhanam

Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

Hi Sridhar,
It is bare fact that Sachin's centuries has not been reflected in the Wisden's top test innings is not due to me. I am sure that the ratings have been done objectively and Sachin's centuries could not find a place.
My only concern is why we should glorify Sachin to such an extent when he is not delivering. You should have had the same yardstick for Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly as well. Why different yardsticks?
Sachin, I repeat is a good batsman but unfortunately he is past his prime. Time has come for him to say goodbye to ODI's and Twenty20's to prolong his test career, if he wants.